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Fully compostable vine aids for greenhouse and tunnel cultivation

With its CompoPac cellulose net, TVU Garnvertrieb Ltd from Leutershausen has been offering solutions since 2019 to meet the growing demand for sustainable but also compostable products for fruit and vegetable cultivation. Shortly after the introduction of the nets, the potential of the compostable nets was recognized for other products, and work was carried out, in conjunction with growers, on fully decomposable vine aids for greenhouse and tunnel cultivation. As with the nets, this is a 100 percent environmentally friendly alternative made of cellulose, ensuring a climate-neutral value chain.

Picture: Dominik Gedon in one of the production halls

The latest product from TVU/CompoPac is the cellulose vine aid. To manufacture this product, TVU previously entered into discussions with many growers who were actively involved in the development of the products. "The focus was on producing a cellulose string that is fully compostable, replacing plastics. The strings must be able to hold up the entire plant without tearing. Beyond that, however, there are many other fine points to consider regarding compostable string, and we focused on these intensively during the development period. In terms of performance, they offer the same elements as plastic string. However, a major advantage is that the cellulose string can be disposed of and composted together with the plant residues, both chopped and unchopped. This eliminates the sorting process, saving the grower additional disposal costs."

The compostable vine strings on a roll

Crucial to this product are their respective strengths. "It starts at a strength of 300 Newton, which is particularly suitable for lighter plants. From 400 Newton onward, we are talking about climbing aids for heavy plants. We have adapted the twine to the respective products. The twine is suitable for greenhouse cultivation, i.e., wherever vegetables are grown in a controlled climate," Gedon says. "As textile experts, we have everything in one hand; the different internal production stages, the in-house strength testing equipment in our extensive test laboratory, and the procurement department. This means we can guarantee short delivery times and consistent quality."

Growing market - service orientation in the foreground
"The market is in a growth phase at the moment, so currently, everything is about service, speed, flexibility, and to ways to convince future customers. And it is precisely in these components that we are very well positioned. Apart from that, direct customer contact is one of our absolute strengths as well," Gedon explains. He says it is particularly important to respond to customers' needs and requirements. For this reason, the string can be offered, for example, on a roll or already completely wound onto hooks.

Foundation was already laid 20 years earlier
From the Bavarian company with its production site in Leutershausen, the twine is available from a single source via its own procurement office, dyeing plant, and the knitting machines producing there. "Thus, we combine several elements along the value chain under one roof," Michael Bandel explains. Added to this are well-planned logistics, which create remarkable flexibility, and a quality management department with its own laboratory, which ensures guarantees a high-quality and consistently food-safe product.

Testing the tensile strength of the yarn with the Statimat DS

Gedon reports that it recognized the problems of procurement and logistics at a very early stage, which is why the company managed to stock up on more than sufficient quantities of the necessary raw materials to ensure continued and stable availability.

"Our company philosophy was already based on renewable energies and sustainability more than 20 years ago. Because of this, today, we can rely on the generation of electricity on the company's own photovoltaic system (approx. 1,000,000 kWh/a) and the generation of heat through our wood chip heating system (approx. 8,000,000 kWh). Because of this foresight at the time, we are now handling the current exceptional global situation much more easily."

TVU's production site in Leutershausen, Germany.

Mr. Gedon will also visit the Fruit Attraction in Madrid in October, he said. He added that people are welcome to arrange a meeting with him in advance or even during the trade fair via or +49 171 8434 037.

For more information:
Michael Bandel und Dominik Gedon
TVU Textilveredlungsunion GmbH
TVU Garnvertrieb GmbH
Rammersdorfer Str. 8
D-91578 Leutershausen +49 (0) 9823 955 160